BAA Destinations: Valencia

As a practice we are dedicated to research. This involves travelling around the world to discover new and different ways of designing. This year we flew to Valencia in Spain and here is a little guide to this magical city according to a few of our Architects.  


What impressed you most about this city?

The journey along Turia park (the long winding park through the city created from an old drained and diverted river) between “Old city – Futuristic City of Arts and Sciences – Beach area” was amazing. There was such stark and dramatic architectural differences between the three, whilst being connected by the park. The Jardin Del Turia is really impressive and the café culture of the Rusafa district.

The transformation of a riverbed to a green park is unique as it creates a space which isolates people from the busy city and brings together the local community through sports, everyday commuting and leisurely activities. The Old Town and the beach are well-connected and integral to people’s daily lives, the former riverbed which forms the Turia Park is a fantastic space and a great transport channel through the city. It was overall much bigger than we had expected.



What was your favourite building or design feature?

In no particular order…

Prince Philip Science Museum

El Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia by Calatrava

Gulliver’s Park by Santiago Calatrava

The contrast between the sci-fi urbanism of Santiago Calatrava and vernacular townscape.


What would you recommend visiting while there?

We would definitely recommend checking out the City of Arts and Science. Walking around Old Town, enjoying glasses of Agua de Valencia, looking at street art and the odd 600 year old tree. Enjoy the walk through the Turia river park towards the City of Arts & Sciences. The old city centre is lovely too. Don’t forget to check out The Silk Exchange; a beautiful old building with twisting columns.

What was the food like?

If you love tapas then this is the place for you! Paella is not a ubiquitous as you might think, good modern tapas on offer. Shocked at how difficult it is to find sherry. The food was great. It was lovely to have authentic paella next to the beach. Dinner at Canalla by Ricard Camarena was a great experience too.

How would you summarise your experience in a sentence?

It was a relaxing sunny, futuristic fun trip filled with new experiences, memories, long walks and beach life.

Words by Daniel Titchener, Fidel Saenz, Francis Hunt, Alex Levin, Bor-Ren Hui